33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
Empathy responds to suffering with a sigh and a call to Heaven for healing. Jesus sighed and looked to Heaven with a direct command. “Be opened,” he said.
I’m not sure if he was speaking to the man’s ears and tongue or if He were speaking to Heaven. Likely, he was speaking to both. He was making an association between earth’s inability and Heaven’s ability. The call for an open Heaven is an invitation for God’s empathy and response.
Jesus teaches an important aspect of prayer. When we pray we are making an association between Heaven and earth. We are inviting the reconciliation of all things. We want God to be among us.
Empathy does not deny the human condition. It starts with earth’s reality and calls for Heaven’s response. In many cases, you are Heaven’s response. You are the ambassador that Heaven has in place to bring good relations between God and man.